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Jakarta Post

Engaging China in the South China Sea

  • Bambang Hartadi Nugroho

Jakarta   /   Thu, July 14 2011   /  07:00 am

The issue of the South China Sea again drew public attention last month. The overlapping claims over a body of water located south of the People’s Republic of China between six countries — Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and China itself — has become a serious strategic concern because it involves a regional rising power whose attitude and intentions remain in the shadows despite years of interaction with the international community.

To complicate things, the conflict almost certainly will be a magnet for the involvement of the United States as a global power.

What is interesting to look at in this conflict is how the adversaries perceive China’s attitude toward the case, which in turn will determine how they will respond and choose the best mechanism in managing the conflict.

As a rising power, China has attracted the interest and curiosit...